Wordcamp Birmingham 2015

One of my goals for 2015 is to become more active within the WordPress and Genesis communities. I’ve started attending my local WordPress London meet ups and knew I had to attend my first Wordcamp, with an invitation to the first ever UK Genesis meet up on the Friday it was an opportunity not to be missed.

What is Wordcamp?

Wordcamp was started in 2006 by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. It is a weekend long event consisting of talks and workshops and is usually attended by anyone with an interest in WordPress, including website designers, developers, businesses, bloggers, digital marketers and more.

My Wordcamp Experience

It’s Friday, with my bag packed and laptop in hand I head off on my journey from London to Birmingham. One of my incentives to attend this Wordcamp was this great opportunity to meet in person, some of the other Genesis designers and developers I had started to forge relationships with in the forums and on social media.

We met in the hotel bar at around 5.30pm. A few drinks, good food and a great evening was had by all sharing stories, swapping ideas and most importantly for me getting to really know everyone. And I got a free #Genesiswp t-shirt!

UK Genesis Meet Up Birmingham 2015

With everyone fresh from Friday night, Saturday began with an introduction from the event organisers and my second free t-shirt! I attended talks from the Explore and Innovate sessions as I felt these would bring most value. Highlights of the day for me were;

  • Turbo Speed Your website by Mike Pead
  • Theme Building Tricks of the Trade by Jonny Allbut
  • Training Clients On How To Use WordPress by Brian Duffy
  • Catering For WordPress by Kirsty Burgoine
  • Mind Your Language, Proper Language Encoding on Multilingual WordPress Websites by Bellinda Mustoe & Doug Lawrence
  • Automate & Integrate WordPress With Other Applications by Jason King

Sunday’s sessions focused more on business, branding and marketing with some very interesting talks. Highlights of the day were;

  • Be a Brand Not a Commodity by Petra Foster
  • WordPress For Small & Not For Profit Enterprises by Ted Ryan & Pauline Roche
  • Customers And The Web by Paul Cherry
  • Why It’s Time To Stop Using Photoshop For Web Design by Ben Furfie
  • Content is King by Rachel McCollin
  • Easy Lazy SEO by Jessica Rose

The final day finished with wrap up from the event organisers, a quick good bye pint in a nearby pub and then the long journey back to London. Tired but satisfied the weekend was worthwhile.

Overall, this was a fantastic weekend, not only did I learn a lot, find new tools and systems (some of which I have already put in place), I had the opportunity to network with some really cool people and would like to thank the organisers, sponsors and volunteers for all their hard work, without whom this type of invaluable event would not be possible.

Most of all I’d like to thank all the UK Genesis crowd who attended, this community embraces newbies and are so willing to help develop new talent and even help seasoned business people like me who have taken a slightly different journey into the world of web design, WordPress and Genesis.

What’s Next For Me?

Keep attending local WordPress meet ups.

Wordcamp Europe – June 2015

If you are a Genesis Developer in the UK and would like to join our community visit the UK Genesis Website for more information.

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